Comité pour un meilleur accès aux soins spécialisés (CMASS) Hôpital Charles LeMoyne

January 18, 2007 14:00 ET

CMASS, Hopital Charles LeMoyne: The Only Tertiary Traumatology Centre Located on Montreal's South Shore is no Longer Able to Fulfill its Mandate

LONGUEUIL, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 18, 2007) - The medical specialists of Charles LeMoyne Hospital's traumatology program, one of only four in existence in Quebec, conclude that they are no longer able to fulfill the requirements of their mandate. In addition, they fear that as the risk that certain polytraumatized patients will be deprived of an efficient coordination of multiphasal, complex and highly specialized care continues to increase, the population of the Monteregie region will inevitably suffer.

At a media roundtable event held this afternoon, spokespersons for the specialists involved explained that the crisis attained its peak on January 8th, when the four general surgeons and seven urgentists attached to the program concluded that an important and chronic lack of medical resources had made the care of multiple trauma patients problematic. For this reason, they have decided to suspend their interventions. For the time being, the hospital is without a trauma coordination team.

Dr. Eric Bergeron, president of the Conseil des medecins, chirurgiens et traumatologues, explained that trauma victims suffer injuries which may leave numerous and sometimes permanent physical and psychological scars, requiring care. "The situation at Charles LeMoyne Hospital, a centre which receives and treats more than 1000 trauma patients annually, concerns us to the utmost, particularly since we realize that the number of trauma cases related to automobile accidents is on the rise in the Monteregie region. These represent more than 25% of all trauma-related hospitalizations which occur in a region of 1 400 000 inhabitants. What's more, with an aging population inevitably comes an increase in cranial traumas due to falls and in fractures of all kinds. Since the traumatology program was inaugurated at Charles LeMoyne Hospital in 1992, the number of trauma-related hospital admissions has increased by 600%. This number is expected to continue to rise."

Having decried the fact that it often takes a severe crisis for the hospital administration to react to a problem, members of this department continue to worry about the inertia of the authorities. "We have had 1001 meetings to discuss this urgent situation and nothing has changed," explained Dr. Bergeron. "On January 12th 2005, we sent a letter to the President of the SAAQ's (Societe de l'assurance automobile du Quebec) traumatology advisory group asking that Charles-LeMoyne receive all the attention and resources necessary for the fulfillment of its mission. Two years later, the situation remains unchanged. It is impossible to claim that the centre is capable of offering polytraumatized patients the efficient coordination and secure care to which they are entitled. If the situation persists, key staff could resign.

Traumatologists are convinced that this unacceptable situation results from negligence on the part of the hospital administration, as it has failed to adequately fulfill a unique and essential mission on Montreal's South Shore. Through their initiative, they seek to force authorities and the regional health agency to assume their responsibilities and listen to personnel on the ground, as well as provide the resources needed to provide quality care to the population of the South Shore. Will a patient need to pay the price before action is taken?

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